Thursday, August 13, 2009

Author of the Day: Philip Roth

Philip Roth was born in 1933 in New Jersey, the setting of many of his books. His personal life was often fodder for his fiction, particularly his books chronicling the lives of 20th-Century American Jews. He created an alter-ego in Nathan Zucherman, the protagonist in nine novels. Another trilogy features college professor David Kepesh as the main character. Roth passed away in May 2018 at the age of 85.

Roth is a personal favorite. I intend to read all of his books. Those I have read so far are in red. Those currently on my TBR shelf are in blue.

Goodbye, Columbus: And Five Other Short Stories (1959) (National Book Award winner; reviewed here)

Letting Go (1962)

When She Was Good (1967)

Portnoy's Complaint (1969) (Modern Library’s Top 100 list)

Our Gang (1971)

The Breast (1972) (Kepesh)

The Great American Novel (1973)

My Life As a Man (1974) (proto-Zuckerman)

Reading Myself and Others (1976)

The Professor of Desire (1977) (Kepesh)

The Ghost Writer (1979) (Zuckerman)

Zuckerman Unbound (1981) (Zuckerman)

The Anatomy Lesson (1983) (Zuckerman)

The Prague Orgy (1985) (Zuckerman)

The Counterlife (1986) (Zuckerman) (National Book Critics Circle Award winner)

The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography (1988) (nonfiction)

Deception (1990)

Patrimony: A True Story (1991) (nonfiction)

Operation Shylock: A Confession (1993)

Sabbath's Theater (1995) (National Book Award winner)

American Pastoral (1997) (Zuckerman) (Pulitzer Prize winner)

I Married a Communist (1998) (Zuckerman)

The Human Stain (2000) (Zuckerman) (reviewed here)

Shop Talk (2001) (nonfiction)

The Dying Animal (2001) (Kepesh)

The Plot Against America (2004) (reviewed here)

Everyman (2006)

Exit Ghost (2007) (Zuckerman)

Indignation (2008)

The Humbling (2009)

Nemesis (2010)

Last updated May 23, 2018.


  1. I didn't realize he had a new one on the way! Thanks for the heads-up! I just requested it from the library. :-)


  2. Roth is too scattered for me, but I have read The Great American Novel. I predict he will "have you at hello" with the very first sentence.

    I will enjoy seeing it show up in your first sentences series!

  3. Lezlie -- I saw "Nemesis" listed as a brand new book somewhere, but I couldn't even find it on amazon. Is that the one you ordered from teh library?

    J.G. -- I'll add The Great American Novel to my wish list ASAP. I'm intrigued!

  4. No. The Humbling is the one I requested. I haven't heard of "Nemesis". I wonder what that is?


  5. Mystery potentially solved: According to Wikipedia, Nemesis is Roth's book due to come out in 2010.


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